Doping Our Kids

Doping Our Kids
Posted by CN Staff on October 04, 2002 at 08:42:04 PT
By Joel Miller
Source: WorldNetDaily
For a country that rigorously fights to keep our kids off drugs, an ever-increasing number of runny-nosers are popping pills like they're going out of style  which they definitely are not. "An estimated half-million schoolkids are now taking powerful anti-psychotic drugs  more than 10 times the number a decade ago  and some experts worry that too many children are getting these drugs inappropriately to control aggressive behavior," reported USA Today in July. 
Doctors put their unreadable signatures on more than 33 million prescriptions for the drugs in 2001, a gain of nearly 35 percent from 1999. Like Ritalin scrips shuffled out the doctor's office with all the speed and number of gospel tracts from the hands of street preachers, this boost in brainbenders smacks of chemical parenting. It's not a shockingly new thing. Victorian mothers, especially those who worked in factories, sedated their children with opium to free their hands for other duties. While the reasons for this were more economic than anything, the practice is the same  using a psychoactive to control a child instead of parental discipline and guidance. The difference is that the practice is fast and furious these days. Doubtless, some children probably benefit from the many drugs. Some are probably better behaved, pull fewer ponytails, stay seated longer in class and provide fewer opportunities for their parents and teachers to work on their forbearance. While it may sound it, I'm not saying there aren't legitimate cases for the drugs' use, but I am betting there are far more illegitimate cases. "Ninety percent of the world's supply of methylphenidate (Ritalin) is used in the USA," according to USA Today, "and 80 percent of the U.S. supply is used by children. " Is the U.S. really home to a hugely disproportionate number of hyperactive kids, or is the rest of the world preposterously behind in treating their jittery juniors? Regarding the use of anti-psychotics, do we really have 450,000 psychotic kids running around that weren't on the prowl a decade ago? Somehow, I doubt it. But for whatever reason, we've flipped the calendar forward a decade from slightly misbehaved Gen X to doped and muted Gen Rx. Richard DeGrandpre, author of "Ritalin Nation," argues that we don't have slews of sick kids beset with new and improved mental tics. The mass prescription of behavior-controlling drugs for children has more to do with a society that refuses to deal with relational and cultural problems as such and instead uses dope to smooth over the rough edges  chemical crutches. Given that, the only real difference between using Ritalin and using drugs like cocaine, meth and ecstasy is that Ritalin and other kiddy dope come with happy-face stickers from the local pharmacist. Parents who resort to such measures too quickly, who mask disciplinary problems in psychobabble so they can just pop a pill in Junior's mouth and get back to work, are shortchanging and even harming their children by abdicating their roles as mothers and fathers. Perhaps the most stunning irony here, besides such a strident drug-warring country shoveling so many pills down our children's gullets, is that this abdication also leads to other drug abuse. Once ingested, Ritalin's results are much the same as cocaine. DeGrandpre notes several cases of children abusing the drug; some kids actually grind up their pills and snort them; others buy and sell them like runty, little dope dealers. But bad as this is, far more worrisome drug abuse comes from parental abdication. A Columbia University study shows that isolation from parents and rigorous schedules that keep kids from constructive "down time" with mom and dad are key contributors to middle class kids' use of drugs and alcohol. "Suniya S. Luthar, a professor of Psychology and Education at Columbia's Teacher's College, had first studied an older cohort of suburban high school students as a control group to compare with inner-city youth," explains UPI reporter Lou Marano. "The suburban 10th-graders had significantly higher levels of every kind of substance use  cigarettes, alcohol, marijuana and hard drugs  than did their inner-city counterparts." Puzzled, researchers went back into the field. The results turned out the same for junior high kids as well. The verdict was basically that parents, too wrapped up in work and "events," aren't spending enough time actually parenting. The result: Kids abuse drugs. Even drug smugglers know this is true. "We don't have a drug problem in this country. We have a problem of parental guidance," infamous narcotrafficker George Jung told filmmaker Ted Demme in an interview. "People concentrate more on the guy who repairs their car than on the teacher who teaches their kids. [Until] they wake up to that fact, the tragedy will continue.  If people can't grasp it, then they don't want to." Maybe they don't. The two-salary income has a lot of perks. In a society geared economically toward such an income, one parent staying at home to make sure little Jane and Johnny grow up well is hard work demanding a lot of sacrifice. The question is, are our children worth it, or would we rather pump them full of official drugs and leave them alone to pursue the unofficial sort? Joel Miller is the book editor for WorldNetDaily. Additionally, his own publishing company, Oakdown, recently published "God Gave Wine" by Kenneth L. Gentry Jr. Source: WorldNetDaily (US Web)Author: Joel MillerPublished: October 4, 2002Copyright: 2002, Inc.Contact: letters worldnetdaily.comWebsite: Articles:Scientologists Decry New Ritalin Labeling's Drug is More Potent than Cocaine
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Comment #4 posted by xxdr_zombiexx on October 05, 2002 at 06:17:20 PT
I think it is inexcusable to remotely associate the diagnosis and treatment of something minor like ADHD with something of lifelong importance like underlying psychotic illness, which mr. miller specifically does.Its not that he actively says "hyperactivity and psychosis are the same thing". It's that I can read what he's written and surmise he did very little reading on either diagnosis, despite mentioning a book title that had the word ritalin in it. Nowhere does he mention any diagnosis, he just throws around the term "psychosis" as if it means hyperactivity. He works for an important and excellent news agency and that's quite unprofessional.The main problem with medications is peoples unrealistic "belief" in them, which I think is capitalized upon by the Pharms. A lot of the drugs that are overused are really very good when used specifically as intended. Most of the use they get in children is "off-lable" and wanders dangerously close to abuse. Few children really, really need ritalin. And often those that need it, need very little, just in the morning and only on school days. Ritalin "cures" nothing. It treats a small cluster of symptoms, the point usually being to increase the child's ability to focus for 3.5 hours at one time, since thats about it's useful half-life.Ritalin is NOT a "powerful anti-psychotic drug" as Miller aleges it to be, via not clarifying it. It's one of the most overrated drugs on the market. A wave of adults see ritalin as a way to "make kids good" and that is beyond ridiculous. It's sloppy journalism in that none of this is a secret. Its all perpetuated by ignorance and the Consumer Society addiction to push-button/take pill solutions.It's like when you hear somebody rail about how marijuana makes kids turn into ax murderers and go insane. You just know - they are clueless.The "kiddie cocaine" thing is what earned the "esteemed journalist" the lame title. That is profoundly anti-scientific. It's indefensible.But we do all agree - many kids are overdrugged who, Im willing to bet a box of donuts, probably don't need any drugs because drugging the child wont fix the system. Put them in a beter learning atmosphere. Provide some testing. See what they are good at and not so good at, focus efforts on their weaknesses, and don;t waste resources on them where they shine. (I suck at math for instance. No point in giving me extra english assignments)So many of the kids I have worked with had reading problems and by 3rd grade all schoolwork is reading. Behavior problems then emerge as the childres cannot read out lod, get teased by those who do, get labebled as "stupid" by teachers, and so forth. A truckload of ritalin wont help that at all. Dust off the old "it takes a village" cliche.The bottom line is that children will always require hands-on hard work, patience, and all that stuff modern society seems to want to find a computer or drug to do for them.And I am an adult ADHD case - was the total hyper kid. I was even put on ritalin for a short moment in the mid-1960's and from the description my parents make, I was overmedicated - I fell asleep....on ritalin.... As an adult working around psychiatrists (Im a therapist, not a doctor) a couple of them have suggested different mediations might help me seem less energetic or hyper. I countered that they envied my creativity, and on we went.So yes, DANA, I may have been a bit harsh with the lame term, but only because I (at least think) I have seen this issue from so many sides and for so long. In the words of Sideshow Bob (from his parole hearing episode) - "Cheerfully withdrawn".Thank you for the kind feedback too - mucho appreciado!(Heres a funny thought - I just got an invitation t interview for an "Assistant Headmaster" at a private school for behaviorally disturbed teenage boys.....Muahahaha!.....)
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Comment #3 posted by DANA on October 05, 2002 at 02:37:49 PT
....doc zombie...
..I agree with most of your comment....and I'm quite sure that you are more familiar with these Ritalin type drugs,and the kids who get them,than I am,,,,.....BUT,,,I don't think this article deserved to be called; "lame" ...Joel Miller may have misused,or mischaracterized the terminology of "psychosis",,but I feel that he makes some good points...In my opinion,,these "legal" drugs are egregiously overused.,,and the theories behind the "need",for such medications,is 97 percent pure BULLSHIT!.........It all has to do with my question,,:"Do you need what you want,,or do you want what you need?"...It gets a bit esoteric at this point,and I want to present the following akward attempt at explaining.........kind of....: People have lived in times past,throughout the ages,without these "medications",and dealt with their problems in more organic,and spiritual ways...Admittedly,there are a few,(very few),people who actually benifit from these legal mind adjusting drugs,,,,but,,if you think about it,,anyone who has experienced such drugs,legal or illegal,,will probably tell you that they need the drug to be normal!..In other words,if someone goes to a "doctor",and the "doctor",gives them a drug to make them "feel" better,,,and that drug actually does make them feel better,then they are going to say they "need" it!...Why?,,,Because,,,it makes them "feel" better,,and that's where the world of mind adjusting/altering drugs,becomes more nebulous than say a simple pain relief drug like aspirin,or,, of course the organic NON-drug herbs such as Marijuana...Of course,"pain",exsists in both the physical,and mental worlds,which are both intricately related in many complex ways.....I've done drugs since the Sixties.......Massive quanitys......I've been strung on speed/meth,,coke,,alcohol,,tobacco,,painkillers,,etc..,,and when ANY person starts using a "drug",that is supposed to,(or does),make them feel better,then they will say that they "need" that drug to function "normally".I used to take alot of "speed",in the 70s,,and that's when I began to consider the concept of ;"needing what you want,or,wanting what you need."......I found that cocaine or speed was very effective in dealing with my LPD ,(LazyPersonDisorder),,,,LOED,(LackOfEnergyDisorder).....cocaine and speed definitly made a big difference in my life,,and I justified using them,in the same way people justify using "legal" medications... Yup ,cocaine took care of that malady I had..speed took care of that "imbalance",I was experiencing..I convinced myself that I was "different",and that I "needed" it to make myself normal again,and correct that "imbalance",that I was suffering from,,hence,,one can easily justify the "need",for something that makes them "feel" better..........So,,the long and the short of what I'm trying to say,is that these "disorders",are somewhat nebulous in their specific diagnosis...Children should almost never be given these drugs!..I hate to think how many fidgety kids have had their natural creativity,and uniquely necessary mental anomoles stunted by these "legal" drugs.....I'm glad I was never anesthetized with any psycho-drugs in my youth!!..If I had been born in 96,instead of 56, they would probably have had me on a Paxil IV,with a Ritalin,Effluxor patch on my forehead!...... .... and a Resperdal,Zyprexa suppository,,with an Olanzapine chaser... but now ..... I've lost my way writing all this,and the only "drug" I've had today,is the sugar in my Ginger Ale,and a hit of Siberian Ginseng this morning.........I much prefer good ol' ,pure "illegal" drugs,to the other kind..... I'm proud to be an Old Hippie!..............You are cool Doc Zombie.......JAH Shine on You..
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Comment #2 posted by xxdr_zombiexx on October 04, 2002 at 13:20:25 PT
What a lame article!
Ritalin is for the treatment of ADHD - attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. It is a relatively common problem and in my professional perspective, not the end of the world in most situations. There are worse things.ADHD interferes with a childs ability to pay attention, sit still, stay on task (a favorite complaint of teachers) and in Atlanta at least, its biggest problem is that it makes learning to read more difficult than for the "average child". After 100 years of so-called professional education experience, teachers still havent a clue as to what's what with kids it seems."Psychotic" is grossly misused here. Psychosis is a state induced by an illness or collection of related illnesses in a person's brain.(or by severe trauma - but thats beside the point) Hearing voices, bizarre activities, persevertion, grossly delusional behavior, danger to self and others, not sleeping, and requiring considerable if not constant supervision. I have seen kids sitting in the hall at the clinic trying topull voices out of their ears, talking to people I can't see, seeing things in general. It is not uncommon for these children to also be depressed and irritable as well as suicidal. It aint to be taken lightly.Resperdal, Zyprexa, Olanzapine, are the new generation of anti-psychotic meds and I have seen them misuded to "whack" (subdue) unruly kids not otherwise specified. It's inappropriate. I have worked with a Parade of parents who are referred to Mental Health clinics and general Practioners because the child fidgits, sings, humms, taps thier feet while working, or refuse to not talk with kids near them - especially when the child is done with thier work. Parents are lambasted by these teachers to "get them on Ritalin". It is largley the school system that wants children drugged to make them stand in line properly [Stay within the Lines]I cant tell you how mad it makes me to hear complaints that a child sings to herself while working is considered a problem. Also many of the kids Ive worked with - in addition to being geniune examples of ADHDThe School system here in Atlanta - as well as in any big city I suppose - is a complete shambles, even though they refuse to say it that way. The kids are essentially being medicated to fit into a broken system - and that is medically unethical and wrong as hell.Calling it "kiddie dope" just tells me this writer has a lot of time to peck at a keyboard and they know little about what they are saying. there is a group associated witht eh Scientoligists that spreads the myth that mental illness doesnt exist and the word "kiddie dope" I first saw from them. Might as well put on a big sign that says they are clueless. Once ingested, Ritalin's results are much the same as cocaine WTF?? Ritalin is a methamphetamine - speed. Normal people take speed and they speed - they stay awake and such. ADHD people - like me - take speed and we calm down, pay better attention... focus. (I never do speed - it just calms me down :P) Its called "Paradoxical Reaction". These same children also can be agitated by phenobarbitol - whcih relaxes most people.Further, Ritalin can be really dangerous. Over prescription and poor monitoring can lead to malnutrition from suppressed appetite and a condition similar to rickets - softening of the bones (not good).Teachers get so crosseyed about their demand that kids be on ritalin that Connecticut has outlawed teachers from indicating they think the child needs meds. Teachers each - they don't diagnose, they don't prescribe. I have gone round and round with a number of them about refusing to change children from doctor to doctor to fine one the "will put that kid on ritalin". It's beyond ridiculous.I do agree that the Pharms have been all to willing to massively increase the range of psychiatric drugs available to children. Some children do need these medications. I have seen wonders take place: it's vastly less often than the problems I see, but it's awesome to see a child pick up and do well. They then progress much faster than the teachers and other adults who have permanently labled them.(Ok..I can go on about this for hours...but I have made my point. I now return you to your regularly scheduled fine activist site. Thank you.)
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Comment #1 posted by fearfull on October 04, 2002 at 10:15:45 PT
Yeah, but
These drugs are good drugs, because they are legal. I know it's true because Uncle Dubbya told me so.
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